Blogs from Mali, Africa - page 4


Africa » Mali » Centre » Djenn√© February 28th 2011

FACES OF MALI...DJENNE TO DOGON COUNTRY BANDIAGARA FALAISE From the magic of the crossing of the Bani Rver to enter the mud town of Djenne...famous for its Mud Mosque...rising before dawn to catch the sunrise over this ancient town...into its bustling Monday's what dreams are made of ... then to enter the Bandiagara escarpment and trek between Dogon villages...sleeping on mud roof tops...waking with a cliff on one side and braying donkeys and baobab trees on the other...rock, rock and more rock...dancing with the locals...that's what further dreams are made of...and becomes reality... Enjoy and Regards, Dancing Dave (who danced his way through Mali on his way to his Tuareg wedding at Timbuktu!!!) ... read more

Africa » Mali » North-West » Timbuktu February 28th 2011

Goodbye to Mali - last day was 13th February, 2011 We had one day's rest back in Timbuktu after the festival and I spent a fair bit of time cleaning out our packs and trying to get rid of as much of the Sarah sand as possible and having a well earned shower and clean up. We decided to have a fancy dinner on our last night in Timbuktu and we were not disappointed. The special restaurant that we went to also had a very important diner who had a lot of protection and the two streets surrounding the restaurant were very protected by local police and lots of guns........(two Hi-Lux uteswith 50cal machine guns mouted in the back of each ute and plenty of armed soldiers as well),,,,not sure who the important person was but ... read more
Local scene at the port of Timbuktu.
Scene at the port of Timbuktu
Freshly baked bread coming out of the oven.

Africa » Mali » North-West » Timbuktu February 27th 2011

Festival in the Desert Highlights - 7th and 8th January 2011 7/1/2011 As I mentioned in an earlier blog - there was to be a wedding at the festival. David and Denise, who we were travelling with us, had decided to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows and the festival seemed to be the perfect place. Our travel group were all to be part of the wedding party and with Hamma's help we managed to get traditional clothing made for the wedding. We had several wedding planners involved in getting everything right - wedding photographer and video specialist, clothing, Tuareg traditions had to be learned and followed, etc. etc. Invitations were send out by word of mouth around the camp sites and at about 4pm the celebration began. David and Denise were dressed ... read more
That's better - David now his head gear on.
Your transport awaits - one lap around the festival area.
Up, up and away.....

Africa » Mali » North-West » Timbuktu February 27th 2011

Festival in the Desert - 6th to 9th Januray 2011. The first Festival in the Desert took place in January 2001 and was based on a traditional Tuareg gathering. The first of these festivals was a rambling open-air celebration of Tuareg culture, music and dance, as well as a stage for other Malian and international performances. The Tuareg people are the largest ethic group in Mali and are mainly found in the northern part of the country. They are nomadic people and for the festival they travelled several hundred kms with their camels - travelling at night and resting during the heat of the day. The festival is seen as a yearly opportunity to trade and make an income that would last them for the whole year. By 2004, the three day event had a fixed ... read more
No stopping in this sand - just keep going until we reach our camp site.
Stage for the festival surrounded on all sides by sand dunes.
Familiar sight around the festival site.

Africa » Mali » District of Bamako February 26th 2011

FACES OF MALI...BAMAKO TO SEGOU The Malian people are handsome...the men are peacocks...and the women are too busy working... The peoples of the Bambara, Dogon, Bozo, Bobo, Felani, Songhai, Tuareg... handsome all. Welcome to the first instalment of "Faces of Mali". I will show photos of the stunning scenery, scenes, events, in my 'Images of Mali' blogs. Enjoy and regards, Dancing Dave (who danced his way through Mali culminating in his Tuareg wedding at Timbuktu!!!)... read more

Africa » Mali » North-West » Timbuktu February 26th 2011

Timbuktu town - 5/1/2011 and 6/1/2011 We had one day in Timbuktu to look around and the following day we headed out to the festival for the next 3-4 days. Timbuktu is the name of a town in Mali (and it really exists - we have t-shirts to prove it!!!) but as well Timbuktu is also the largest region of Mali stretching from the Niger Bend to the northern frontiers of the Malian Sahara. Virtually all the human activity takes place in the vicinity of the River Niger, where Timbuktu and Dire are two of the major towns. The only other permanent settlement is a further 400km across vast plains, dunes and shifting 'sand seas' - at the Taoudenni salt mines. A visit to the Post Office to have a post card sent back home stamped ... read more
Interesting range of medicial products available at this shop - right opposite our hotel.
Which colour will I buy - one to match my eyes - Michael bought two......
Poor man's lead light window....

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Bandiagara February 22nd 2011

Date: 30/1/2010 Evening: Begnimato We had agreed between us that we would like to start walking early in the morning and get to the lunch stop before it got too hot each day and then start again about 3pm each afternoon. So, today we started early and walked about 5km (in sand mostly) along the plain following the escarpment. Before leaving Ende, we had a long walk around the village as this was the village most famous for the mud painting - we watched several artists work on specific pieces. We also saw the women processing indigo dyed blankets and scarfs and one of our group was fortunate enough to purchase a copy of one of the masks worn during the dancing was a really good find as only one man in the village makes ... read more
we continue our walk up the gorge
Vegetable garden within the gorge we walked through.
Well tendered fresh vegies....

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Bandiagara February 22nd 2011

Date: 31/12/2010 We started off this morning with singing Happy Birthday to Sam (who is not really a morning person) but she took it all in good spirit. We walked a longer distance today - mainly across the top of the rocky escarpment - arriving at our destination of Douruo by 12.30pm. After another lunch of pasta and finding that we were the only ones staying in this village for the night - New Year's Eve - we decided to move on. For several days we had been trying to get together on New Year's Eve and make a bit of a party of it with our fellow travellers - so we were very disappointed to find just our group in this village. Our guide arranged for a vehicle to come in and pick us up ... read more
Two boys using a typical dyed blanket
More Dogon artifacts.
Going up?  or going down?

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti February 22nd 2011

1/1/2011 - day in Mopti On arrival in Mopti we were met by our tour organiser - who would accompany us on the river and festival sections of the tour. This was a good opportunity for some down time and washing. Four of us decided to take a walk around the town before dinner and while it is a major town in Mali - it didn't really hold anything special for us. The main area of interest was the Mosque, and we were invited up onto people's roofs to get a better view of the Mosque. "No charge" they say, but, you don't get anything for free and on the way up the stairs onto one roof we passed a little area set aside for making local handicrafts. So you know that you are going to ... read more
Riverbank Mopti including your washing.
Street scene Mopti.
Sample of the boats in the river at Mopti

Africa » Mali » North-West » Timbuktu February 22nd 2011

Hi everyone, I think some people may have missed out on receiving one of the blogs I posted a couple of days ago - I posted 3 blogs just before leaving Addis Ababa - if you didn't receive all three, please just check out previous blogs to keep up to date. Many thanks, the cause might have been internet service. Having a beer in Bangkok at the moment and using free wifi (probably not really free if we have too many beers) - heading to the beach for a few days next week. Love to you all. Ros Niger River trip Day 2 - 3/1/2011 After rising at 5.30am (are we on holiday!!) we set off on the river again in time to catch the sunrise - magic. Today was a full day on the ... read more
Arriving at Niafunke - Michael can hardly wait to get ashore.
Niafunke - view from street down to the river.
Street scene Niafunke, Mali

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